When Andy last checked in, the group called One Anchorage needed to collect 5,871 signatures to get discrimination protection for LGBT folk on the ballot in Anchorage next year. (Anchorage law already bans discrimination on basis of sex, religion, race, etc.) On Thursday, supporters of the ballot initiative walked into the city clerk's office and dropped an enormous stack of papers bearing the signatures of over 13,000 Alaskans.
From the Anchorage Daily News, by way of The Lake Wylie Pilot:
The initiative is similar to a city ordinance that was passed by the Anchorage Assembly in 2009 after weeks of public hearings and debate, but then was vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan.
The fight before the Assembly was long and loud, with hundreds of people on both sides speaking out.
"I would be surprised if we saw anything as intense as it was before the Assembly" during the initiative campaign, said Assemblyman Patrick Flynn.
When he vetoed the gay rights ordinance in 2009, Sullivan said he was not convinced there is discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation here.
… but Mayor Sullivan is reportedly supportive of the ballot initiative, because it allows citizens to "weigh in" on the issue themselves. Less sanguine is the Alaska Family Council, a Christianist org associated with Focus On The Family and led by Jim Minnery, the happy looking fellow at right, who promises to give the gays a good fight right up until voting day. Interestingly, the mission of the Council is "to strengthen and protect Alaskan families through public policy education, issue research and grassroots advocacy," which you'd think would put issues of housing and job discrimination solidly outside their charter. Apparently not.